Ecclestone F1 era coming to a close - Ferrari chief

Luca Di Montezemolo and Bernie Ecclestone share a moment but the Ferrari chief wants a change of direction in the sport

Story highlights

  • Ferrari chief Luca Di Montezemolo criticizes F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone
  • 'Era of one man show cannot continue' says Di Montezemolo
  • Ferrari unhappy with role Ecclestone played in final race controversy in Brazil
  • Di Montezemolo also hints at move for triple world champion Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemelo has launched an end of season salvo at F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, saying "the era of the one man show cannot continue" if the sport is to move forward.

"We are approaching the time when we need to think about the future," said Di Montezemolo, who was unhappy about the role Ecclestone played in the controversy surrounding the last race in Brazil where Sebastian Vettel clinched the title from Ferrari No.1 Fernando Alonso.

Ferrari believed Vettel may have made an illegal overtaking move under a yellow flag which, should he have been punished, would have meant Alonso took the title instead.

"Every so often, Bernie likes to play the boss and gets involved in matters that don't concern him: godfathers no longer exist, at least not in Formula 1," Di Montezemolo was quoted on the official Ferrari website.

"Interpretation of flags, be they yellow or blue is nothing to do with him and he used expressions that I do not accept.

"Our behavior in this instance was not only transparent, but perfect and maybe he would do better to think about attracting bigger crowds and more youngsters, and to discuss more with the television stations and the media."

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Di Montezemolo conceded that Ecclestone had achieved "significant things" but that at 82 years of age questions should be asked about his continued stewardship of the sport.

"It's not a case of replacing Bernie and in fact I do not like doing to others what I would not want to happen to myself.

"The future should be in the hands of a team that will look after all the different areas.

"We are slowly approaching the end of a period characterized by the style of one man who has done significant things."

Ecclestone recently said he would only quit when he felt he was not doing a good job.

"I hope that's what I can do; when I feel I can't deliver, I will certainly say goodbye," he was quoted on the official F1 website.

Di Montezemolo again reiterated his opposition to the ban on testing during the F1 grand prix season and said he would be putting across his arguments when he meets Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt.

"As for testing, it's getting close to ridiculous," he said. "The FIA is not opposed to it, we are not and so what is the reason for it, " he added.

He also congratulated Red Bull and Vettel on their double victory in the drivers' and constructors' championship.

Vettel, who clinched a title hat-trick in Brazil, "had an amazing car and is a great driver," said Di Montezemolo.

"If for whatever reason, Alonso was to retire, then I'd like Vettel, a driver who has his feet on the ground and a great will to win."

Ferrari has been strongly linked with a move for Germany's Vettel, but will field Alonso and Brazilian Felipe Massa for the 2013 season.